SPOTSYLVANIA, VA. (WUSA9) - At least eight people are dead in three separate incidents during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Police said the cases had one thing in common— violence involving family members.
The District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH) said this is the time of year it sees more and more domestic violence victims trying to get help.
The lights were on and cars parked in the driveway, but no one answered the door at a home on Waterford Drive in Spotsylvania, Virginia.
Deputies were investigating a murder-suicide after finding a married couple and their adult daughter, who neighbors said used a wheelchair, dead.
The bodies were identified as 38-year-old Meghan Scully, 68-year-old Mary Scully, and 69-year-old Robert Scully.
Neighbors were shocked because they never saw anything out of the ordinary.
WUSA9 checked with the sheriff’s office who said deputies have never been called to the family’s house before.
The violence that happened over the holiday weekend was not on law enforcement’s radar.
The Sheriff’s Department has not revealed which family member pulled the trigger or why.
About 70 miles down the road past Richmond, police arrested Christopher Gattis on Thanksgiving.
The Chester Virginia youth pastor was charged with murder and accused of killing his wife, stepdaughter, and her boyfriend.
In Landover Md., WUSA9 reported about another deadly incident involving family members.
Police said a mother suffocated her two-year-old son and killed herself over the weekend.
“He seemed like a happy two-year-old bro. He was definitely just a joyful little boy,” Travis Thomas said.
Advocates at DASH said the number of adults looking for shelter because of domestic violence increased from 192 in 2016 to 276 in 2017.
That is a nearly 44% increase.
The organization said it typically sees more family violence cases around this time of year or over the summer.
“For every 1 survivor DASH houses, there are five survivors that we cannot. Please join us in meeting this growing need – visit us on our website, www.dashdc.org to learn how,” a spokesperson said.
If you or someone you know is in the middle of a domestic violence situation and needs help, call the national hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
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